• Julius Chambers

    Julius ChambersNoted Civil Rights Attorney and Educator
    1958 graduate of North Carolina Central University



    JULIUS L. CHAMBERS earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University in 1958, an M.A. in history from the University of Michigan and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1962, first in his class of 100. He became the first African American editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif and Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest honorary societies at the University. He taught at Columbia University School of Law while earning his masters of law degree in 1964.

    In June 1964, Mr. Chambers opened his law practice in a coldwater walkup on East Trade Street in Charlotte, North Carolina. This one- person law practice eventually became the first integrated law firm in North Carolina history. In its first decade, the law firm did more to influence evolving federal civil rights law than any other private law practice in the United States. Mr. Chambers and his founding partners, James E. Ferguson, II, and Adam Stein, working with lawyers of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., successfully litigated civil rights cases and helped shape the contours of civil rights law by winning landmark United States Supreme Court rulings in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), (the famous school busing decision) and Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 91 S.Ct. 849, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971) and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975) (two of the Supreme Court's most significant Title VII employment discrimination decisions).

    In 1993, Mr. Chambers was installed as Chancellor of his alma mater, North Carolina Central University and served in that capacity until 2001. Chambers has served as lecturer or adjunct professor at Harvard, University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and the University of Michigan Law Schools. He is currently a clinical professor of law and director of the Center for Civil Rights at UNC School of Law. He has received 13 honorary LL.D degrees.